John E. Petersen - Retired Bell Labs Manager and Local Community Players Actor John Edwin Petersen (Jack), 91, of Westfield, NJ, died in his home early Saturday morning, January 4, 2014. Jack's Life Celebration and visitation will be 4:00 – 8:00 PM Friday, January 10, 2014, at Gray Funeral Directors, A Life Celebration Home, 318 E. Broad St., Westfield. His Service of Remembrance will follow in the early Spring. Mr. Petersen is survived by his wife Elizabeth, sons Eric and Robert, daughter Mrs. Elizabeth Bradrick, two grandchildren, one great grandson and numerous nieces and nephews. Mr. Petersen was born in Chicago, Ill. on July 21, 1922 and moved to Westfield in 1929, where he grew up and attended the Westfield schools. He played varsity football (running back and passer), basketball (center) and track in high school and graduated in 1941. He married his wife, Bette, on July 21, 1946, at the First United Methodist Church, Westfield, where he was a member, and raised his family in Westfield. A veteran of World War II, he served bravely as an officer in the U.S. Merchant Marines, where he also graduated with an Engineering degree. He received a medal from the Russian government for his participation in "The Murmansk Run". Mr. Petersen worked for Bell Telephone Laboratories for 43 years retiring as a Department Head in Purchasing. He made a name for himself on stage acting in more than 100 plays and musicals. He was a member and past president of the Westfield Community Players and acted for the New Jersey Shakespeare Festival. His most memorable roles were Petruchio in Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew", and Henry Higgins in the musical "My Fair Lady". His last role was in "A Christmas Carol" where he played the ghost of Jacob Marley. He was a member of The First United Methodist Church since 1945, sang in the bass section and was a past president of the Sanctuary Choir. Mr. Petersen was also a member of the Westfield Historical Society and volunteered his time and talent at the Miller Cory House. He will be deeply missed by everyone who loved him. Memorial Contributions may be made to the Memorial Fund of the First United Methodist Church, Westfield. A memorial service will be on Saturday , May 3, 2014, 11 am at the First United Methodist Church in Westfield.